In African lore rain means blessing. On this day the grey sky over London was full of best wishes as South African entrepreneur Luhabe put the final touches to her dress ahead of the short car ride to Buckingham Palace.
With 100 other recipients of regal awards, Luhabe will be handed the honorary Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order in return for her 10 years of work for the Duke of Edinburgh Awards. She will walk into the palace on a red carpet in what palace officials describe as ‘the walk of honour’ given to all recipients.
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Luhabe – the founder of South African women’s investment arm WIPHOLD – chose a simple African print dress with a brown lace top. The multi-coloured contemporary African print was designed by Machere in Parktown North, Johannesburg, especially for the occasion.
The drizzle fell on Luhabe’s Mayfair flat as we spoke ahead of her departure to Buckingham Palace along with a group of friends including former ArcelorMittal head Nonkululeko Nyembezi-Heita.
“You are right, in Africa rain means blessings and I will take that metaphor on this day,” said Luhabe.
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“I see this award as a tribute to all women and also my grandchildren…We are here to serve humanity, we must try to do things for ourselves, in this way we can change the face of Africa.
Luhabe will celebrate her award with a lunch high above the steeples and rooftops of London in a restaurant housed in the Shard, the new angled and glass building that towers above the capital.